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Ten seats to watch at the next general election – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 8,489
edited February 21 in General
imageTen seats to watch at the next general election – politicalbetting.com

It’s never too soon to think about the next election and how that might look in detail. Let’s have a look at some of the individual constituencies that will tell the story of the night. 

Read the full story here

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Comments

  • First....as in where I will be in the queue when my turn comes for having a jab.
  • Interesting & insightful posting by AM - thanks!

    BUT shouldn't the PM change seats, and run in Wycombe? Name alone suggests that it's his natural turf!

    AND what about the brand, new seat of . . . wait for it . . . West Wokeshire West?
  • As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 16,200
    Interesting piece, thanks Alastair. I’ve never been to Colchester, but chocolate box isn’t how I imagine it. Curious that it was a Lib Dem seat and it’s taken a few elections for Labour to become the main challenger.

    Colchester looks a bit like my seat of Woking in that the Tories look beatable, but the challenger isn’t strong enough to hoover up most of the non-Tory votes. Perhaps that will be different in such seats in 2024.

    It’s also interesting to wonder if Tories might win a few more seats in the red wall next time even if they suffer a net loss overall. Labour just held on to Normanton, Castleford and Pontefract (Yvette Cooper’s seat) last time. I think that and Chesterfield might be possible gains for the Tories.
  • MetatronMetatron Posts: 174
    Was not Kirkcaldy the Fife consistuency that elected an SNP candidate who made antisemitic comments?
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 46,532
    Metatron said:

    Was not Kirkcaldy the Fife consistuency that elected an SNP candidate who made antisemitic comments?

    Yep. They let him back in only to sack him from the front bench later:

    https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/politics/uk-politics/1954441/snps-neale-hanvey-sacked-after-backing-campaign-to-sue-aberdeen-mp-kirsty-blackman/



  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 16,200
    Metatron said:

    Was not Kirkcaldy the Fife consistuency that elected an SNP candidate who made antisemitic comments?

    Yes, but the SNP let him back in. But he’s on the wrong side of the trans issue, which is obviously a far worse crime.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 38,767
    edited February 21
    tlg86 said:

    Interesting piece, thanks Alastair. I’ve never been to Colchester, but chocolate box isn’t how I imagine it. Curious that it was a Lib Dem seat and it’s taken a few elections for Labour to become the main challenger.

    Colchester looks a bit like my seat of Woking in that the Tories look beatable, but the challenger isn’t strong enough to hoover up most of the non-Tory votes. Perhaps that will be different in such seats in 2024.

    It’s also interesting to wonder if Tories might win a few more seats in the red wall next time even if they suffer a net loss overall. Labour just held on to Normanton, Castleford and Pontefract (Yvette Cooper’s seat) last time. I think that and Chesterfield might be possible gains for the Tories.

    Doncaster North - Ed Miliband's seat - is one to watch. The issue next time will be where do the 8k+ Brexit Party votes go? Back to Labour - or were they a stepping-stone to voting Conservative? The Tory gained 5% - but Ed lost 22%. His name - and a majority of 2,370 - saved it for Labour. Will it be enough next time? Will he even stand?

    Putting real money and effort into saving seats like this - the next regional dominoes after Grimsby and Scunthorpe in the retreat of the Labour vote - demonstrates the mountain the party has next time. Places where you used to weigh the vote for the Labour candidate, whoever the candidate, now need shoring up. And I don't see Starmer being any help there in filling sandbags. Not against Boris in a JCB, chasing down those 8,294 Brexit Party voters, with his message that he delivered Brexit. The Brexit that "smarmy Starmer" tried so hard to block at every turn.

    Coventry and Wolverhampton are also places were Labour is going to have to spend a huge amount of effort, just to stand still. And this against a Government being smart in trying to prise them into the blue column by moving jobs there. Coventry's turn next.....

    "The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will have a new home in Wolverhampton, with 500 posts including senior civil servants moving to the West Midlands by 2025.

    It will be the first ever ministerial office outside of Westminster and is part of the Places for Growth programme, which aims to shift away from the London-centric approach to government."

    https://www.expressandstar.com/news/politics/2021/02/20/wolverhampton-chosen-for-new-government-department-headquarters/#:~:text=New government headquarters will be,servant roles out of London.&text=The Ministry of Housing, Communities,the West Midlands by 2025.

    Wolverhampton SE - Labour majority in 2017 8,514 --> Labour majority 1,235 in 2019

    Wolverhampton NE - Labour majority in 2017 4,587 --> Con majority 4,080 in 2019

    Wolverhampton SW - Labour majority in 2017 2,185 --> Con majority 1,661 in 2019

    Coventry NE - Labour majority in 2017 15,580 --> Labour majority 7,692 in 2019

    Coventry NW - Labour majority in 2017 8,580 --> Labour majority 208 in 2019

    Coventry S - Labour majority in 2017 7,947 --> Labour majority 401 in 2019
  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    edited February 21
    Interesting piece (thanks Alastair) with details for me to file for closer to the time.

    I see that The Bow Group are agitating about Carrie's role: https://news.sky.com/story/carrie-symonds-role-in-governing-the-uk-should-be-investigated-tory-think-tank-says-12224401

    The deeper issue for them is of course nothing to do with accountability. It's to do with the shunning of the hard right Brexiteers.

    Carrie's arrival into the heart of the Government is one of the reasons I find myself more supportive of Boris. Since Cummings & Cain were shown the door, No 10 has moved noticeably more centrist and less abrasive. The War on Whitehall has ceased and a number of appointments signal the return of what I consider to be the truer Boris: the one who won an essentially Labour capital city for the Conservatives.

    It bodes well. If he can continue to please the Labour heartlands on Brexit, re-open Britain thanks to our stunning vaccine success, and claim the centre ground with socially soft libertarian policies then Labour will remain lost and Boris will probably win a landslide.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 54,989
    Good morning, everyone.

    Not too surprised my seat is on the list. I hope the Conservatives have a new leader come election time.
  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    edited February 21
    p.s. I only put 'probably' in front of win a landslide because I didn't want to wind people up.

    I think he will but I accept that it's a long way out.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 36,093
    With regard to Stafford, it is worth remembering that Labour held nine of Staffordshire’s twelve constituencies (including Stoke) at the 2005 election. Now they do not hold a single one. It’s not only Stafford that has drifted away from them.

    Even if we expand it to the old county boundaries Labour hold just one seat - Walsall South.

    In Gloucestershire it’s hardly less disastrous. In 2005 Labour held Gloucester, Stroud, Kingswood and had just lost the Forest of Dean by a tight margin, while the Liberal Democrats held Northavon and Cheltenham. Now the Liberal Democrats are in contention in Cheltenham and Labour in Stroud, but every single other seat in Gloucestershire is solidly Tory.
  • squareroot2squareroot2 Posts: 2,470
    How much of the loony Corbyn still be in the minds if voters come the GE? . Most of the Labour leadership is unknown, unseen or silent. It was that way in 1997, but Labour had Blair.... Starmer is v drab and uninspiring by comparison.
  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688

    tlg86 said:

    Interesting piece, thanks Alastair. I’ve never been to Colchester, but chocolate box isn’t how I imagine it. Curious that it was a Lib Dem seat and it’s taken a few elections for Labour to become the main challenger.

    Colchester looks a bit like my seat of Woking in that the Tories look beatable, but the challenger isn’t strong enough to hoover up most of the non-Tory votes. Perhaps that will be different in such seats in 2024.

    It’s also interesting to wonder if Tories might win a few more seats in the red wall next time even if they suffer a net loss overall. Labour just held on to Normanton, Castleford and Pontefract (Yvette Cooper’s seat) last time. I think that and Chesterfield might be possible gains for the Tories.

    Doncaster North - Ed Miliband's seat - is one to watch. The issue next time will be where do the 8k+ Brexit Party votes go? Back to Labour - or were they a stepping-stone to voting Conservative? The Tory gained 5% - but Ed lost 22%. His name - and a majority of 2,370 - saved it for Labour. Will it be enough next time? Will he even stand?

    Putting real money and effort into saving seats like this - the next regional dominoes after Grimsby and Scunthorpe in the retreat of the Labour vote - demonstrates the mountain the party has next time. Places where you used to weigh the vote for the Labour candidate, whoever the candidate, now need shoring up. And I don't see Starmer being any help there in filling sandbags. Not against Boris in a JCB, chasing down those 8,294 Brexit Party voters, with his message that he delivered Brexit. The Brexit that "smarmy Starmer" tried so hard to block at every turn.

    I totally agree. Labour have appointed a Metropolitan arch Remainer as leader, which may well have seemed a great antidote to Jeremy Corbyn, but which will do nothing for the northern Labour Brexit voter that you describe.

    I think Labour are stuffed.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 46,532
    Would be consistent with rate of case decline slowing:

  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    And whilst I loathed Corbyn's anti-semitism I voted Labour because I liked some of his left-wing policies. They were fresh and offered a radically different way forward for the country. You may think that was naive of me, but at least his vision was interesting.

    Starmer is boring. I don't want a bank manager prime minister.

    His policies offer nothing radically different from Boris. This is also why I suggest that if Boris continues the left tack and seizes the centre ground, whilst keeping his new Brexit core happy, then Labour are stuffed.
  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    It's not enough to be a clever barrister pecking away at little pieces of loose flesh.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 35,772
    edited February 21
    Nature abhors a vacuum.

    Governments get themselves oppositions. Over time they upset people, for one reason or another.

    The Falkland's War obscured this for a while. So did Brexit.

    And I don't know if the opposition will come from Labour, Reform, the Greens, the LibDems or whoever.

    But it will come from somewhere.

    Local election bases will erode. By-elections will be lost. And then suddenly, someone else will be in Number 10.

    In 2024? On the balance of probabilities, I'd say "no".

    But it will happen.

    Pendulums are like that.
  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    I don't especially like Andy Burnham but I wonder if Labour have missed something important. A Labour leader who is Scottish helps their vote there. A Labour leader who is northern would help their vote there. And, let's be clear about this, as MM states below, if Labour can't win back the northern Brexit Labour vote then they are never going to regain office.

    Can you see remainer Sir Keir Starmer winning them back? I can't.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 38,767

    Would be consistent with rate of case decline slowing:

    Although if that latest ONS number was an outlier, then the drop down wasn't as sharp and the rate of any rise less than indicated on the straight line.

    Need a bit more data yet.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 38,767
    rcs1000 said:

    Nature abhors a vacuum.

    Governments get themselves oppositions. Over time they upset people, for one reason or another.

    The Falkland's War obscured this for a while. So did Brexit.

    And I don't know if the opposition will come from Labour, Reform, the Greens, the LibDems or whoever.

    But it will come from somewhere.

    Local election bases will erode. By-elections will be lost. And then suddenly, someone else will be in Number 10.

    In 2024? On the balance of probabilities, I'd say "no".

    But it will happen.

    Pendulums are like that.

    *Japan's Liberal Democratic Party waves*
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 38,767

    I don't especially like Andy Burnham but I wonder if Labour have missed something important. A Labour leader who is Scottish helps their vote there. A Labour leader who is northern would help their vote there. And, let's be clear about this, as MM states below, if Labour can't win back the northern Brexit Labour vote then they are never going to regain office.

    Can you see remainer Sir Keir Starmer winning them back? I can't.

    Burnham is my go-to guy to replace Starmer.

    He seems to be wearing around the edges a little now, less like a mascara'd up Thunderbirds puppet, more like a decent-sounding bloke who has had a sound pandemic.

    Burnham leading Labour into the next election would cause Boris more sleepless nights than Starmer. Although I suspect Boris would work better with Burnham in delivering stuff for the North. They'd both look good.

    Not sure how that shakes up politics materially in Labour's favour, but they would still look credible as a force. Which would have to be an improvement on what they've had - and what they've got.
  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    edited February 21
    Robert, obviously in one sense you're right. Nothing lasts for ever. Putting aside that platitude though, where are we at?

    The Conservatives have been in power in one form or other since 2010. That's a long time and normally your 'nature reboot' meme would be taking effect.

    But those old rules, I suggest, don't apply right now. Two seismic events have effectively reset the clock. One is Brexit. The other is Covid. We don't yet know how the latter will play out mid-term in the polling but so far Boris hasn't taken a hit. If anything the opposite.

    So I'd suggest we forget the fact that the tories have been in Downing St for 12 years and reset the data to 0. Or, 1, since it's a year now.

    In many ways I'm beginning to see Boris Johnson as a Tony Blair. Charismatic. Honey-tongued. Successful. Flawed.

    Despite what was previously said on here, Boris Johnson IS a vote winner.

    Tony Blair showed that it's perfectly possible to remain in power without an opposition of any meaningful sort for a decade: William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Howard offered precisely nothing to the electorate for a whole decade. Which is basically what I sadly now feel about Keir Starmer.
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 30,305
    This comes from the daily mail so comes with all the normal caveats. I haven’t independently validated but interesting nonetheless

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9282677/IAN-BIRRELL-Row-erupts-cover-Chinas-Covid-death-toll.html
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 35,772

    Robert, obviously in one sense you're right. Nothing lasts for ever. Putting aside that platitude though, where are we at?

    The Conservatives have been in power in one form or other since 2010. That's a long time and normally your 'nature reboot' meme would be taking effect.

    But those old rules, I suggest, don't apply right now. Two seismic events have effectively reset the clock. One is Brexit. The other is Covid. We don't yet know how the latter will play out mid-term in the polling but so far Boris hasn't taken a hit. If anything the opposite.

    So I'd suggest we forget the fact that the tories have been in Downing St for 12 years and reset the data to 0. Or, 1, since it's a year now.

    In many ways I'm beginning to see Boris Johnson as a Tony Blair. Charismatic. Honey-tongued. Successful. Flawed.

    Despite what was previously said on here, Boris Johnson IS a vote winner.

    Tony Blair showed that it's perfectly possible to remain in power without an opposition of any meaningful sort for a decade: Hague, Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Howard offered precisely nothing to the electorate for a whole decade. Which is basically what I sadly now feel about Keir Starmer.

    All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs.

    Now, when will that be? I couldn't guess.

    But this is a moment when Boris should be basking in triumph: the UK is leading the world* in its vaccine roll-out; Brexit has been achieved, and without any obvious major discomfort (indeed, CV19 has made the bloc look very poor indeed); the opposition is weak and divided.

    Maybe the next crisis will work out as well for Boris. Maybe it won't. Maybe the opposition will fail to coalesce. And maybe it won't. And maybe the government will simply get tired and mired in scandals.

    If I were to bet, I'd say that 2024 would see the Conservatives comfortably re-elected, perhaps with a majority of 40-45, but on a substantially reduced vote share.

    But, I could be completely wrong.

    * So long as the world excludes some smaller countries
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 35,772

    rcs1000 said:

    Nature abhors a vacuum.

    Governments get themselves oppositions. Over time they upset people, for one reason or another.

    The Falkland's War obscured this for a while. So did Brexit.

    And I don't know if the opposition will come from Labour, Reform, the Greens, the LibDems or whoever.

    But it will come from somewhere.

    Local election bases will erode. By-elections will be lost. And then suddenly, someone else will be in Number 10.

    In 2024? On the balance of probabilities, I'd say "no".

    But it will happen.

    Pendulums are like that.

    *Japan's Liberal Democratic Party waves*
    Sure, or Mexico's PRI.

    But we don't have a history of one party rule in the UK.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 36,093

    I don't especially like Andy Burnham but I wonder if Labour have missed something important. A Labour leader who is Scottish helps their vote there. A Labour leader who is northern would help their vote there. And, let's be clear about this, as MM states below, if Labour can't win back the northern Brexit Labour vote then they are never going to regain office.

    Can you see remainer Sir Keir Starmer winning them back? I can't.

    Burnham is my go-to guy to replace Starmer.

    He seems to be wearing around the edges a little now, less like a mascara'd up Thunderbirds puppet, more like a decent-sounding bloke who has had a sound pandemic.

    Burnham leading Labour into the next election would cause Boris more sleepless nights than Starmer. Although I suspect Boris would work better with Burnham in delivering stuff for the North. They'd both look good.

    Not sure how that shakes up politics materially in Labour's favour, but they would still look credible as a force. Which would have to be an improvement on what they've had - and what they've got.
    Although he would of course have lost his seat at the last election had he stood...
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 32,160

    Would be consistent with rate of case decline slowing:

    It’s what Prof Spector released from ZoE on Friday- R is now rising everywhere except London, the SE and SW
  • GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 6,275
    Burnham is Keir with a Northern accent.
    Not enough.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 38,767
    edited February 21
    Charles said:

    This comes from the daily mail so comes with all the normal caveats. I haven’t independently validated but interesting nonetheless

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9282677/IAN-BIRRELL-Row-erupts-cover-Chinas-Covid-death-toll.html

    Something to do with IDS and their Universal Credit roll-out?

    Of course China's numbers are crazy low. They moved 300m people around the country for New Year with a highly contagious disease on the loose. But the number of dead is what the Party says it is.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 38,767
    rcs1000 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Nature abhors a vacuum.

    Governments get themselves oppositions. Over time they upset people, for one reason or another.

    The Falkland's War obscured this for a while. So did Brexit.

    And I don't know if the opposition will come from Labour, Reform, the Greens, the LibDems or whoever.

    But it will come from somewhere.

    Local election bases will erode. By-elections will be lost. And then suddenly, someone else will be in Number 10.

    In 2024? On the balance of probabilities, I'd say "no".

    But it will happen.

    Pendulums are like that.

    *Japan's Liberal Democratic Party waves*
    Sure, or Mexico's PRI.

    But we don't have a history of one party rule in the UK.
    We are in the early stages of giving it a go!
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 36,093

    Burnham is Keir with a Northern accent.
    Not enough.

    Although is there any party right now with a significant, impressive alternative to the incumbent leader? Bearing in mind all the incumbents across the UK are pretty poor. Sturgeon is the best and she stands accused of things that would make Maduro blink.

    The only one I can think of is Angus Robertson, or possibly Ruth Davidson.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 36,093

    Charles said:

    This comes from the daily mail so comes with all the normal caveats. I haven’t independently validated but interesting nonetheless

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9282677/IAN-BIRRELL-Row-erupts-cover-Chinas-Covid-death-toll.html

    Something to do with IDS and their Universal Credit roll-out?

    Of course China's numbers are crazy low. They moved 300m people around the country for New Year with a highly contagious disease on the loose. But the number of dead is what the Party says it is.
    One cannot be right against the Party.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 35,772

    rcs1000 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Nature abhors a vacuum.

    Governments get themselves oppositions. Over time they upset people, for one reason or another.

    The Falkland's War obscured this for a while. So did Brexit.

    And I don't know if the opposition will come from Labour, Reform, the Greens, the LibDems or whoever.

    But it will come from somewhere.

    Local election bases will erode. By-elections will be lost. And then suddenly, someone else will be in Number 10.

    In 2024? On the balance of probabilities, I'd say "no".

    But it will happen.

    Pendulums are like that.

    *Japan's Liberal Democratic Party waves*
    Sure, or Mexico's PRI.

    But we don't have a history of one party rule in the UK.
    We are in the early stages of giving it a go!
    I don't think that's true, because while - in the short term - FPTP works to exaggerate differences in party shares and seat outcomes, it does the opposite as governments become less popular.

    Also, we're not Japan. And let's hope we don't become like them. Because it's really unhealthy for democracy when the fighting isn't for the affections of the electorate, but for the support of the party members.
  • Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 12,134
    All this talk of Tory landslides in 2024 assumes they can withstand the avalanche of sleaze they unleashed.

    Matt Hancock broke the law.

    Meanwhile...

  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 35,772
    ydoethur said:

    Burnham is Keir with a Northern accent.
    Not enough.

    Although is there any party right now with a significant, impressive alternative to the incumbent leader? Bearing in mind all the incumbents across the UK are pretty poor. Sturgeon is the best and she stands accused of things that would make Maduro blink.

    The only one I can think of is Angus Robertson, or possibly Ruth Davidson.
    Who'd want to be a politician?

    But you know what? Nobody thought much of Paddy Ashdown until the Gulf War. There will be another crisis, or issue, and someone will shine through.

    Can't tell you who yet, but someone will.

    Indeed, the interesting question is to look at the non-Conservative politicians; who's the Tony Blair, hidden away, winning a seat when his party was down at heel?
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 54,989
    As an aside, worth remembering Morley & Outwood was one of those seats that had a sizeable UKIP vote when they were riding high. May indicate that if Starmer is seen to do poorly on the EU he'll struggle in this sort of seat especially.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 38,767
    rcs1000 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Nature abhors a vacuum.

    Governments get themselves oppositions. Over time they upset people, for one reason or another.

    The Falkland's War obscured this for a while. So did Brexit.

    And I don't know if the opposition will come from Labour, Reform, the Greens, the LibDems or whoever.

    But it will come from somewhere.

    Local election bases will erode. By-elections will be lost. And then suddenly, someone else will be in Number 10.

    In 2024? On the balance of probabilities, I'd say "no".

    But it will happen.

    Pendulums are like that.

    *Japan's Liberal Democratic Party waves*
    Sure, or Mexico's PRI.

    But we don't have a history of one party rule in the UK.
    We are in the early stages of giving it a go!
    I don't think that's true, because while - in the short term - FPTP works to exaggerate differences in party shares and seat outcomes, it does the opposite as governments become less popular.

    Also, we're not Japan. And let's hope we don't become like them. Because it's really unhealthy for democracy when the fighting isn't for the affections of the electorate, but for the support of the party members.
    Has it done Japan any harm? They have gone from pariah nation we had to nuke, to a powerhouse of the world economy - by Making Stuff. Under the guiding hand of a single political party.

    Maybe political choice only serves democracy when your nation is flailing around trying to find a direction?
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 36,093
    Scott_xP said:

    All this talk of Tory landslides in 2024 assumes they can withstand the avalanche of sleaze they unleashed.

    Matt Hancock broke the law.

    Meanwhile...

    Since when was that a problem for politicians? Gordon Brown built his entire career on breaking the law, then having someone arrested for doing it back to him.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 35,772

    rcs1000 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Nature abhors a vacuum.

    Governments get themselves oppositions. Over time they upset people, for one reason or another.

    The Falkland's War obscured this for a while. So did Brexit.

    And I don't know if the opposition will come from Labour, Reform, the Greens, the LibDems or whoever.

    But it will come from somewhere.

    Local election bases will erode. By-elections will be lost. And then suddenly, someone else will be in Number 10.

    In 2024? On the balance of probabilities, I'd say "no".

    But it will happen.

    Pendulums are like that.

    *Japan's Liberal Democratic Party waves*
    Sure, or Mexico's PRI.

    But we don't have a history of one party rule in the UK.
    We are in the early stages of giving it a go!
    I don't think that's true, because while - in the short term - FPTP works to exaggerate differences in party shares and seat outcomes, it does the opposite as governments become less popular.

    Also, we're not Japan. And let's hope we don't become like them. Because it's really unhealthy for democracy when the fighting isn't for the affections of the electorate, but for the support of the party members.
    Has it done Japan any harm? They have gone from pariah nation we had to nuke, to a powerhouse of the world economy - by Making Stuff. Under the guiding hand of a single political party.

    Maybe political choice only serves democracy when your nation is flailing around trying to find a direction?
    On what metric has Japan done noticeably better than Italy in the last 30 years?

    The only one I can think of is unemployment, but to make that your lodestar, you have to ignore the fact that Italy has done notably better on employment as a percent of population.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 21,823

    Burnham is Keir with a Northern accent.
    Not enough.

    Though Burnham does empathy well too. He is a far better communicator than Starmer. Like Balls, he too has successfully reinvented himself since 2010.
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 4,428

    rcs1000 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Nature abhors a vacuum.

    Governments get themselves oppositions. Over time they upset people, for one reason or another.

    The Falkland's War obscured this for a while. So did Brexit.

    And I don't know if the opposition will come from Labour, Reform, the Greens, the LibDems or whoever.

    But it will come from somewhere.

    Local election bases will erode. By-elections will be lost. And then suddenly, someone else will be in Number 10.

    In 2024? On the balance of probabilities, I'd say "no".

    But it will happen.

    Pendulums are like that.

    *Japan's Liberal Democratic Party waves*
    Sure, or Mexico's PRI.

    But we don't have a history of one party rule in the UK.
    We are in the early stages of giving it a go!
    Newspaper headlines from most years between 1997 and 2007 wave.
  • RogerRoger Posts: 13,960

    As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.

    Why I wonder are the most Brexity seats mainly small miserable Northern and Eastern towns that only those without imagination and talent wouldn't have moved out of at the first possible opportunity?

    Why did all the vibrant Cities vote solidly to Remain? It seems to cut across traditional Party lines. Maybe these 'Red Wall' seats are the wrong way of dividing the country. Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK. Similarly N.Ireland who will certainly thrive as part of a united ireland.

    There is a good chance and an irony that when the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us it's going to be the Brexit voting areas that are going to be hit the hardest. The voters in those areas might even ask themselves where their country has gone!

    But the interesting question is who will they blame? Those who led them down this back alley or they themselves who voted for it? Unlikely to be themselves but I'd be very surprised if Johnson and his henchmen escape unscathed
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 21,823
    Scott_xP said:

    All this talk of Tory landslides in 2024 assumes they can withstand the avalanche of sleaze they unleashed.

    Matt Hancock broke the law.

    Meanwhile...

    Hancocks "reforms" of the NHS to get rid of competitive tendering is going to be interesting. Can he resist bunging untendered contracts in sweetheart deals to mates of his from the pub?
  • MattWMattW Posts: 5,915
    edited February 21
    tlg86 said:

    Interesting piece, thanks Alastair. I’ve never been to Colchester, but chocolate box isn’t how I imagine it.

    I had family in Colchester for years, and it always seems to me to be very spread out. You are into the built up a hellishly long time before you reach the centre.

    Like Birmingham - miles and miles of roadside development. Even London seems more compact when driving in, at least from the North.

  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 54,989
    Interesting to consider how things could've easily gone very differently. If Labour hadn't been led by a daft far left fool, then Remain may well have won. Cameron goes, gets replaced by Osborne. Labour's led by someone who isn't a Communist. There's an election last year (presumably) during the height of a pandemic. Cui bono?

    Labour doesn't suffer the calamity of Corbyn, but the Conservatives also have far less turbulence to deal with. Against that, UKIP are likely still riding high in the polls.
  • eekeek Posts: 11,025
    Charles said:

    This comes from the daily mail so comes with all the normal caveats. I haven’t independently validated but interesting nonetheless

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9282677/IAN-BIRRELL-Row-erupts-cover-Chinas-Covid-death-toll.html

    I'm surprised its taken a week for a paper to pick up the fact - I remember it from early in the week or even the week before and probably from this site as it's not the sort of thing my twitter feed would have seen.

    You don't suddenly stop paying someone's pension unless they aren't around to need it.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 21,823
    Roger said:

    As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.

    Why I wonder are the most Brexity seats mainly small miserable Northern and Eastern towns that only those without imagination and talent wouldn't have moved out of at the first possible opportunity?

    Why did all the vibrant Cities vote solidly to Remain? It seems to cut across traditional Party lines. Maybe these 'Red Wall' seats are the wrong way of dividing the country. Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK. Similarly N.Ireland who will certainly thrive as part of a united ireland.

    There is a good chance and an irony that when the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us it's going to be the Brexit voting areas that are going to be hit the hardest. The voters in those areas might even ask themselves where their country has gone!

    But the interesting question is who will they blame? Those who led them down this back alley or they themselves who voted for it? Unlikely to be themselves but I'd be very surprised if Johnson and his henchmen escape unscathed
    Voters are notoriously ungrateful, but the one thing you can be certain of is that they won't blame themselves!

    It will take some years for this country to get over its political xenophobia.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 5,915
    Interesting piece Alistair, thanks.

    Living in the purple wall, I'd say that I have yet to see any Boris policies that will really tip the balance.

    We are seeing a bit of investment (and lots of whinging about it) but I have yet to see anything that will be noticed in the pocketbook by every constituent.
  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    edited February 21
    Foxy said:

    Roger said:

    As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.

    Why I wonder are the most Brexity seats mainly small miserable Northern and Eastern towns that only those without imagination and talent wouldn't have moved out of at the first possible opportunity?

    Why did all the vibrant Cities vote solidly to Remain? It seems to cut across traditional Party lines. Maybe these 'Red Wall' seats are the wrong way of dividing the country. Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK. Similarly N.Ireland who will certainly thrive as part of a united ireland.

    There is a good chance and an irony that when the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us it's going to be the Brexit voting areas that are going to be hit the hardest. The voters in those areas might even ask themselves where their country has gone!

    But the interesting question is who will they blame? Those who led them down this back alley or they themselves who voted for it? Unlikely to be themselves but I'd be very surprised if Johnson and his henchmen escape unscathed
    Voters are notoriously ungrateful, but the one thing you can be certain of is that they won't blame themselves!

    It will take some years for this country to get over its political xenophobia.
    Reducing Brexit to "political xenophobia" is precisely the kind of arrogant Metropolitan elitist sneering which caused them to win in the first place.
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 4,428

    Would be consistent with rate of case decline slowing:

    Clearly not good but with fewer cases then the R number will be more volatile. If you look at the relative positions of the Orkneys and the Shetlands on Malmesbury’s R charts week on week they tend to leap from the top to the bottom when there are only one or two cases. It is the rate of decline that concerns me but the awful weather in the first and second week of February will have kept everyone indoors and may even have artificially suppressed the number of people going for tests.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 5,915
    Roger said:


    Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK.

    4 out of 10 Scots voted to leave the EU.

    That doesn't strike me as "pretty solidly anti-Brexit".

    If it was only 20% rather than just under 40% - yes. However, it wasn't.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 35,772
    edited February 21

    Foxy said:

    Roger said:

    As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.

    Why I wonder are the most Brexity seats mainly small miserable Northern and Eastern towns that only those without imagination and talent wouldn't have moved out of at the first possible opportunity?

    Why did all the vibrant Cities vote solidly to Remain? It seems to cut across traditional Party lines. Maybe these 'Red Wall' seats are the wrong way of dividing the country. Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK. Similarly N.Ireland who will certainly thrive as part of a united ireland.

    There is a good chance and an irony that when the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us it's going to be the Brexit voting areas that are going to be hit the hardest. The voters in those areas might even ask themselves where their country has gone!

    But the interesting question is who will they blame? Those who led them down this back alley or they themselves who voted for it? Unlikely to be themselves but I'd be very surprised if Johnson and his henchmen escape unscathed
    Voters are notoriously ungrateful, but the one thing you can be certain of is that they won't blame themselves!

    It will take some years for this country to get over its political xenophobia.
    Reducing Brexit to "political xenophobia" is precisely the kind of arrogant Metropolitan elitist sneering which caused them to win in the first place.
    Let me turn it around: policies are not, usually, particularly interesting to 90% of the population. Most people care about their family, their livelihoods, their neighbourhood, their job, and their prospects.

    Outside of us obsessives, Brexit is not desired for the sake of Brexit. It is desired because of the prospect of tangible benefits.

    Right now, with the EU having bugled vaccines worse than Bungle, things look good.

    But in the medium term, relativity to other countries doesn't win many votes. Am I better off than I was one, three and five years ago? Am I more optimistic?

    We don't know the answer to those questions yet.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 21,823

    Foxy said:

    Roger said:

    As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.

    Why I wonder are the most Brexity seats mainly small miserable Northern and Eastern towns that only those without imagination and talent wouldn't have moved out of at the first possible opportunity?

    Why did all the vibrant Cities vote solidly to Remain? It seems to cut across traditional Party lines. Maybe these 'Red Wall' seats are the wrong way of dividing the country. Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK. Similarly N.Ireland who will certainly thrive as part of a united ireland.

    There is a good chance and an irony that when the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us it's going to be the Brexit voting areas that are going to be hit the hardest. The voters in those areas might even ask themselves where their country has gone!

    But the interesting question is who will they blame? Those who led them down this back alley or they themselves who voted for it? Unlikely to be themselves but I'd be very surprised if Johnson and his henchmen escape unscathed
    Voters are notoriously ungrateful, but the one thing you can be certain of is that they won't blame themselves!

    It will take some years for this country to get over its political xenophobia.
    Reducing Brexit to "political xenophobia" is precisely the kind of arrogant Metropolitan elitist sneering which caused them to win in the first place.
    Of course Brexit has more complex roots, such as the economic decline of heavy industry and manufacturing employment on the old coalfields. That is not an easy problem to crack, so far better to whip up anti-Woke culture wars, or political xenophobia around flags and British exceptionalism. That is what the next election will be about. Not much bread and a lot of circuses.
  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    edited February 21
    Roger said:

    As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.

    Why I wonder are the most Brexity seats mainly small miserable Northern and Eastern towns that only those without imagination and talent wouldn't have moved out of at the first possible opportunity?

    Why did all the vibrant Cities vote solidly to Remain? It seems to cut across traditional Party lines. Maybe these 'Red Wall' seats are the wrong way of dividing the country. Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK. Similarly N.Ireland who will certainly thrive as part of a united ireland.

    There is a good chance and an irony that when the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us it's going to be the Brexit voting areas that are going to be hit the hardest. The voters in those areas might even ask themselves where their country has gone!

    But the interesting question is who will they blame? Those who led them down this back alley or they themselves who voted for it? Unlikely to be themselves but I'd be very surprised if Johnson and his henchmen escape unscathed
    I'm going to risk replying to you in the hope that this time you might play the ball not the person.

    There are at least three massive assumptions in your message.

    1. "Scotland is likely to leave the UK"

    Whilst I think this is a possibility, to describe it as "likely" is presumptuous. It will take a lot of legal and constitutional wrangling even to get to the point of a second independence vote. Even if they do reach that point there is absolutely no guarantee that Scotland would vote for independence. At the moment it's too close to call and the further away from Brexit we get, the less likely I find the idea.

    2. Your depiction of "miserable Northern and Eastern towns" as "without imagination and talent" has, of course, a grain of truth to it but it's pretty supercilious. It's not exactly the language of someone who understands and wants to win back those who surged to Boris.

    3. "When the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us."

    Highly presumptuous. I expect you thought they would have already hit us and you are now moving the goalposts to suit your aspirations. For all the kerfuffles about oysters, and some supply problems, Brexit has not yet been anything like the disaster imagined. Indeed, had we been tied to the EMA we would have been part of the EU's disastrous vaccine scandal. That is a point that will be hammered home time and time again by Boris and chums. No wonder Keir Starmer went puce in the House of Commons when this was levelled at him. It may take many years for remain to regain the ground they lost. The fact is that on the single most important policy decision since the Second World War, the EU failed its European citizens. Except Britain of course. Free from the shackles, the UK rolled out probably the most successful vaccine programme in the world, literally life saving and life changing.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 39,354
    Foxy said:

    Burnham is Keir with a Northern accent.
    Not enough.

    Though Burnham does empathy well too. He is a far better communicator than Starmer. Like Balls, he too has successfully reinvented himself since 2010.
    Better Burnham as Labour leader in 2025 than Khan.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 35,772

    rcs1000 said:

    Foxy said:

    Roger said:

    As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.

    Why I wonder are the most Brexity seats mainly small miserable Northern and Eastern towns that only those without imagination and talent wouldn't have moved out of at the first possible opportunity?

    Why did all the vibrant Cities vote solidly to Remain? It seems to cut across traditional Party lines. Maybe these 'Red Wall' seats are the wrong way of dividing the country. Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK. Similarly N.Ireland who will certainly thrive as part of a united ireland.

    There is a good chance and an irony that when the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us it's going to be the Brexit voting areas that are going to be hit the hardest. The voters in those areas might even ask themselves where their country has gone!

    But the interesting question is who will they blame? Those who led them down this back alley or they themselves who voted for it? Unlikely to be themselves but I'd be very surprised if Johnson and his henchmen escape unscathed
    Voters are notoriously ungrateful, but the one thing you can be certain of is that they won't blame themselves!

    It will take some years for this country to get over its political xenophobia.
    Reducing Brexit to "political xenophobia" is precisely the kind of arrogant Metropolitan elitist sneering which caused them to win in the first place.
    Let me turn it around: policies are not, usually, particularly interesting to 90% of the population. Most people care about their family, their livelihoods, their neighbourhood, their job, and their prospects.

    Outside of us obsessives, Brexit is not desired for the sake of Brexit. It is desired because of the prospect of tangible benefits.

    Right now, with the EU having bugled vaccines worse than Bungle, things look good.

    But in the medium term, relativity to other countries doesn't win many votes. Am I better off than I was one, three and five years ago? Am I more optimistic?

    We don't know the answer to those questions yet.
    Bar those who cant accept the result, Brexit means increasingly less to people as the years go on. "Events" are taking over and bear more relevance to the future than a vote in 2016.
    Spot on.

    It's time to stop even mentioning Brexit. (Worth noting, of course, that even Starmer is reconciled to this and supported the government's legislation on this matter.)
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 46,532
    Bit of a kerfuffle going on between The Herald and Ms Cherry QC MP:

  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 21,823
    MattW said:

    Roger said:


    Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK.

    4 out of 10 Scots voted to leave the EU.

    That doesn't strike me as "pretty solidly anti-Brexit".

    If it was only 20% rather than just under 40% - yes. However, it wasn't.
    About the same proportion in Stoke or Hartlepool who wanted to Remain. So to put things equally, Scotland was no more for Remain than Stoke for Leave.

    It suits political discourse to depict the Purple wall as Leaverstan and Scotland as Romania, but the reality is far more complex and interesting.

    A large part of the reason that small towns, (whether post industrial North or seaside) voted Brexit is age profile. If the voting youngsters have moved to the metropolises, then the residue are older. That is why the areas of the country with shrinking populations were most Brexity. Not so much immigrants taking jobs, as no decent jobs to be had.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 21,823

    rcs1000 said:

    Foxy said:

    Roger said:

    As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.

    Why I wonder are the most Brexity seats mainly small miserable Northern and Eastern towns that only those without imagination and talent wouldn't have moved out of at the first possible opportunity?

    Why did all the vibrant Cities vote solidly to Remain? It seems to cut across traditional Party lines. Maybe these 'Red Wall' seats are the wrong way of dividing the country. Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK. Similarly N.Ireland who will certainly thrive as part of a united ireland.

    There is a good chance and an irony that when the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us it's going to be the Brexit voting areas that are going to be hit the hardest. The voters in those areas might even ask themselves where their country has gone!

    But the interesting question is who will they blame? Those who led them down this back alley or they themselves who voted for it? Unlikely to be themselves but I'd be very surprised if Johnson and his henchmen escape unscathed
    Voters are notoriously ungrateful, but the one thing you can be certain of is that they won't blame themselves!

    It will take some years for this country to get over its political xenophobia.
    Reducing Brexit to "political xenophobia" is precisely the kind of arrogant Metropolitan elitist sneering which caused them to win in the first place.
    Let me turn it around: policies are not, usually, particularly interesting to 90% of the population. Most people care about their family, their livelihoods, their neighbourhood, their job, and their prospects.

    Outside of us obsessives, Brexit is not desired for the sake of Brexit. It is desired because of the prospect of tangible benefits.

    Right now, with the EU having bugled vaccines worse than Bungle, things look good.

    But in the medium term, relativity to other countries doesn't win many votes. Am I better off than I was one, three and five years ago? Am I more optimistic?

    We don't know the answer to those questions yet.
    Bar those who cant accept the result, Brexit means increasingly less to people as the years go on. "Events" are taking over and bear more relevance to the future than a vote in 2016.
    I can see why Brexiteers no longer want to be bound by their promises of sunlit uplands.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 5,915
    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Roger said:

    As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.

    Why I wonder are the most Brexity seats mainly small miserable Northern and Eastern towns that only those without imagination and talent wouldn't have moved out of at the first possible opportunity?

    Why did all the vibrant Cities vote solidly to Remain? It seems to cut across traditional Party lines. Maybe these 'Red Wall' seats are the wrong way of dividing the country. Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK. Similarly N.Ireland who will certainly thrive as part of a united ireland.

    There is a good chance and an irony that when the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us it's going to be the Brexit voting areas that are going to be hit the hardest. The voters in those areas might even ask themselves where their country has gone!

    But the interesting question is who will they blame? Those who led them down this back alley or they themselves who voted for it? Unlikely to be themselves but I'd be very surprised if Johnson and his henchmen escape unscathed
    Voters are notoriously ungrateful, but the one thing you can be certain of is that they won't blame themselves!

    It will take some years for this country to get over its political xenophobia.
    Reducing Brexit to "political xenophobia" is precisely the kind of arrogant Metropolitan elitist sneering which caused them to win in the first place.
    Of course Brexit has more complex roots, such as the economic decline of heavy industry and manufacturing employment on the old coalfields. That is not an easy problem to crack, so far better to whip up anti-Woke culture wars, or political xenophobia around flags and British exceptionalism. That is what the next election will be about. Not much bread and a lot of circuses.
    @Foxy

    I'm interested - do you find extensive political xenophobia amongst your work colleagues and patients?

    Leicestershire voted to leave EU, though Leicester itself voted marginally in favour.
  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    Foxy said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Foxy said:

    Roger said:

    As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.

    Why I wonder are the most Brexity seats mainly small miserable Northern and Eastern towns that only those without imagination and talent wouldn't have moved out of at the first possible opportunity?

    Why did all the vibrant Cities vote solidly to Remain? It seems to cut across traditional Party lines. Maybe these 'Red Wall' seats are the wrong way of dividing the country. Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK. Similarly N.Ireland who will certainly thrive as part of a united ireland.

    There is a good chance and an irony that when the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us it's going to be the Brexit voting areas that are going to be hit the hardest. The voters in those areas might even ask themselves where their country has gone!

    But the interesting question is who will they blame? Those who led them down this back alley or they themselves who voted for it? Unlikely to be themselves but I'd be very surprised if Johnson and his henchmen escape unscathed
    Voters are notoriously ungrateful, but the one thing you can be certain of is that they won't blame themselves!

    It will take some years for this country to get over its political xenophobia.
    Reducing Brexit to "political xenophobia" is precisely the kind of arrogant Metropolitan elitist sneering which caused them to win in the first place.
    Let me turn it around: policies are not, usually, particularly interesting to 90% of the population. Most people care about their family, their livelihoods, their neighbourhood, their job, and their prospects.

    Outside of us obsessives, Brexit is not desired for the sake of Brexit. It is desired because of the prospect of tangible benefits.

    Right now, with the EU having bugled vaccines worse than Bungle, things look good.

    But in the medium term, relativity to other countries doesn't win many votes. Am I better off than I was one, three and five years ago? Am I more optimistic?

    We don't know the answer to those questions yet.
    Bar those who cant accept the result, Brexit means increasingly less to people as the years go on. "Events" are taking over and bear more relevance to the future than a vote in 2016.
    I can see why Brexiteers no longer want to be bound by their promises of sunlit uplands.
    I can see why Remainers are becoming increasingly embittered.
  • AlanbrookeAlanbrooke Posts: 21,332
    Foxy said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Foxy said:

    Roger said:

    As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.

    Why I wonder are the most Brexity seats mainly small miserable Northern and Eastern towns that only those without imagination and talent wouldn't have moved out of at the first possible opportunity?

    Why did all the vibrant Cities vote solidly to Remain? It seems to cut across traditional Party lines. Maybe these 'Red Wall' seats are the wrong way of dividing the country. Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK. Similarly N.Ireland who will certainly thrive as part of a united ireland.

    There is a good chance and an irony that when the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us it's going to be the Brexit voting areas that are going to be hit the hardest. The voters in those areas might even ask themselves where their country has gone!

    But the interesting question is who will they blame? Those who led them down this back alley or they themselves who voted for it? Unlikely to be themselves but I'd be very surprised if Johnson and his henchmen escape unscathed
    Voters are notoriously ungrateful, but the one thing you can be certain of is that they won't blame themselves!

    It will take some years for this country to get over its political xenophobia.
    Reducing Brexit to "political xenophobia" is precisely the kind of arrogant Metropolitan elitist sneering which caused them to win in the first place.
    Let me turn it around: policies are not, usually, particularly interesting to 90% of the population. Most people care about their family, their livelihoods, their neighbourhood, their job, and their prospects.

    Outside of us obsessives, Brexit is not desired for the sake of Brexit. It is desired because of the prospect of tangible benefits.

    Right now, with the EU having bugled vaccines worse than Bungle, things look good.

    But in the medium term, relativity to other countries doesn't win many votes. Am I better off than I was one, three and five years ago? Am I more optimistic?

    We don't know the answer to those questions yet.
    Bar those who cant accept the result, Brexit means increasingly less to people as the years go on. "Events" are taking over and bear more relevance to the future than a vote in 2016.
    I can see why Brexiteers no longer want to be bound by their promises of sunlit uplands.
    Im getting my jab next month, not in August. Seems good to me.l
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 21,823
    edited February 21
    MattW said:

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Roger said:

    As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.

    Why I wonder are the most Brexity seats mainly small miserable Northern and Eastern towns that only those without imagination and talent wouldn't have moved out of at the first possible opportunity?

    Why did all the vibrant Cities vote solidly to Remain? It seems to cut across traditional Party lines. Maybe these 'Red Wall' seats are the wrong way of dividing the country. Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK. Similarly N.Ireland who will certainly thrive as part of a united ireland.

    There is a good chance and an irony that when the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us it's going to be the Brexit voting areas that are going to be hit the hardest. The voters in those areas might even ask themselves where their country has gone!

    But the interesting question is who will they blame? Those who led them down this back alley or they themselves who voted for it? Unlikely to be themselves but I'd be very surprised if Johnson and his henchmen escape unscathed
    Voters are notoriously ungrateful, but the one thing you can be certain of is that they won't blame themselves!

    It will take some years for this country to get over its political xenophobia.
    Reducing Brexit to "political xenophobia" is precisely the kind of arrogant Metropolitan elitist sneering which caused them to win in the first place.
    Of course Brexit has more complex roots, such as the economic decline of heavy industry and manufacturing employment on the old coalfields. That is not an easy problem to crack, so far better to whip up anti-Woke culture wars, or political xenophobia around flags and British exceptionalism. That is what the next election will be about. Not much bread and a lot of circuses.
    @Foxy

    I'm interested - do you find extensive political xenophobia amongst your work colleagues and patients?

    Leicestershire voted to leave EU, though Leicester itself voted marginally in favour.
    Yes, Leicestershire is Middle England after all. The age profile of the county is skewed much older than the city. Age is the reason for the divide.

    Not so much amongst work colleagues though, as most of my colleagues are foreign born.

  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    rcs1000 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Foxy said:

    Roger said:

    As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.

    Why I wonder are the most Brexity seats mainly small miserable Northern and Eastern towns that only those without imagination and talent wouldn't have moved out of at the first possible opportunity?

    Why did all the vibrant Cities vote solidly to Remain? It seems to cut across traditional Party lines. Maybe these 'Red Wall' seats are the wrong way of dividing the country. Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK. Similarly N.Ireland who will certainly thrive as part of a united ireland.

    There is a good chance and an irony that when the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us it's going to be the Brexit voting areas that are going to be hit the hardest. The voters in those areas might even ask themselves where their country has gone!

    But the interesting question is who will they blame? Those who led them down this back alley or they themselves who voted for it? Unlikely to be themselves but I'd be very surprised if Johnson and his henchmen escape unscathed
    Voters are notoriously ungrateful, but the one thing you can be certain of is that they won't blame themselves!

    It will take some years for this country to get over its political xenophobia.
    Reducing Brexit to "political xenophobia" is precisely the kind of arrogant Metropolitan elitist sneering which caused them to win in the first place.
    Let me turn it around: policies are not, usually, particularly interesting to 90% of the population. Most people care about their family, their livelihoods, their neighbourhood, their job, and their prospects.

    Outside of us obsessives, Brexit is not desired for the sake of Brexit. It is desired because of the prospect of tangible benefits.

    Right now, with the EU having bugled vaccines worse than Bungle, things look good.

    But in the medium term, relativity to other countries doesn't win many votes. Am I better off than I was one, three and five years ago? Am I more optimistic?

    We don't know the answer to those questions yet.
    Bar those who cant accept the result, Brexit means increasingly less to people as the years go on. "Events" are taking over and bear more relevance to the future than a vote in 2016.
    Spot on.

    It's time to stop even mentioning Brexit. (Worth noting, of course, that even Starmer is reconciled to this and supported the government's legislation on this matter.)
    Yes to the first part but I fear Starmer will be forever pinned by his (disastrous) remainer fudge. He's partly responsible for the Labour screw up and you could make a strong argument that it's that which lost them the election.

    Had Labour tacked to Corbyn's and Labour Left's historic antipathy to the centralised EU, and sided with Brexit, they may very well have held on to their Red Wall. They'd have lost sizeable chunks of the Metropolitan remain vote but to whom? The LibDems probably.

    Anyway, the point is that as you seem to be in a generally very sanguine long-view reflective mood this morning the same might be applied to Sir Keir. I don't think Starmer will be entirely trusted by Labour Brexit voters on this. So whilst it's easy for him to say he's over it, I'm not sure they will be so ready to rush back into Labour's fold.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 21,450
    Morning everyone; there's still a lot of anti-Brexitry coming through on my Facebook page.

    I'm glad to say! I still hope, that even at my advanced age, I'll see us Rejoin, or at least have a much closer relationship than our Prime Minster seems to want.
    At the moment I think he'll have his place in the history books, but alongside people like Chamberlain and Lord North.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 35,672
    The behaviour of Evans and Lloyd has been almost beyond belief and they both need to be sacked. It is very important that they are dismissed for misconduct, not allowed to retire on a generous package. The former makes it clear to the next generation of civil servants that they do not behave like this and need to remain independent of their political masters. The latter makes it clear that those masters will protect those loyal to them. I am not holding my breath.

    Sturgeon has to bear a lot of responsibility for both of them of course. Their over eagerness to please did not come out of nowhere.
  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    And that's not the first disastrous policy mistake by Starmer. As DPP he instituted the 'believe all victims' policy which fed the Carl Beech scandal. Beech would not have got away with it had the (admittedly stupid) police officers not been instructed in the first place to believe him as "credible and true."
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 6,293

    cultish symbolism



    ...
  • FishingFishing Posts: 1,727
    edited February 21
    rcs1000 said:

    Nature abhors a vacuum.

    Governments get themselves oppositions. Over time they upset people, for one reason or another.

    Maybe, but it can take many decades, not just a few years. One thinks of the Social Democrats in Sweden, the Liberal Democrats in Japan and the ANC in South Africa. And maybe the SNP in Scotland.

    And the other question is how much of the successful party's clothes they have to nick to become successful themselves. Blair was the master at that, of course. He accepted almost all of the Conservative reforms since 1979 economically, though he was much more liberal socially. Tony Blair PM well deserves the anagram I'm Tory Plan B.
  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    edited February 21

    Foxy said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Foxy said:

    Roger said:

    As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.

    Why I wonder are the most Brexity seats mainly small miserable Northern and Eastern towns that only those without imagination and talent wouldn't have moved out of at the first possible opportunity?

    Why did all the vibrant Cities vote solidly to Remain? It seems to cut across traditional Party lines. Maybe these 'Red Wall' seats are the wrong way of dividing the country. Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK. Similarly N.Ireland who will certainly thrive as part of a united ireland.

    There is a good chance and an irony that when the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us it's going to be the Brexit voting areas that are going to be hit the hardest. The voters in those areas might even ask themselves where their country has gone!

    But the interesting question is who will they blame? Those who led them down this back alley or they themselves who voted for it? Unlikely to be themselves but I'd be very surprised if Johnson and his henchmen escape unscathed
    Voters are notoriously ungrateful, but the one thing you can be certain of is that they won't blame themselves!

    It will take some years for this country to get over its political xenophobia.
    Reducing Brexit to "political xenophobia" is precisely the kind of arrogant Metropolitan elitist sneering which caused them to win in the first place.
    Let me turn it around: policies are not, usually, particularly interesting to 90% of the population. Most people care about their family, their livelihoods, their neighbourhood, their job, and their prospects.

    Outside of us obsessives, Brexit is not desired for the sake of Brexit. It is desired because of the prospect of tangible benefits.

    Right now, with the EU having bugled vaccines worse than Bungle, things look good.

    But in the medium term, relativity to other countries doesn't win many votes. Am I better off than I was one, three and five years ago? Am I more optimistic?

    We don't know the answer to those questions yet.
    Bar those who cant accept the result, Brexit means increasingly less to people as the years go on. "Events" are taking over and bear more relevance to the future than a vote in 2016.
    I can see why Brexiteers no longer want to be bound by their promises of sunlit uplands.
    I'm getting my jab next month, not in August. Seems good to me.l
    Seconded.

    I'm getting mine next week.

    Thank god we left the EU.
  • Foxy said:

    MattW said:

    Roger said:


    Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK.

    4 out of 10 Scots voted to leave the EU.

    That doesn't strike me as "pretty solidly anti-Brexit".

    If it was only 20% rather than just under 40% - yes. However, it wasn't.
    About the same proportion in Stoke or Hartlepool who wanted to Remain. So to put things equally, Scotland was no more for Remain than Stoke for Leave.

    It suits political discourse to depict the Purple wall as Leaverstan and Scotland as Romania, but the reality is far more complex and interesting.

    A large part of the reason that small towns, (whether post industrial North or seaside) voted Brexit is age profile. If the voting youngsters have moved to the metropolises, then the residue are older. That is why the areas of the country with shrinking populations were most Brexity. Not so much immigrants taking jobs, as no decent jobs to be had.
    Though many Brexitty voters in Brexitty places aren't in the market for jobs themselves any more, the age profile of the Leave-Remain divide being what it is.

    The government might need to be careful about moving a lot of metropolitan elite types into Midlands and northern towns. If civil servants and their families take their London mores with them, the resulting regeneration might not be was the left behind were hoping for.
  • AlistairAlistair Posts: 19,391
    tlg86 said:

    Metatron said:

    Was not Kirkcaldy the Fife consistuency that elected an SNP candidate who made antisemitic comments?

    Yes, but the SNP let him back in. But he’s on the wrong side of the trans issue, which is obviously a far worse crime.
    He donated to a crowdfunder to sue a SNP MP. I'm amazed he's not out of the party.
  • AlistairAlistair Posts: 19,391

    Bit of a kerfuffle going on between The Herald and Ms Cherry QC MP:

    Lol, Cherry's "that's defamatory you'll be hearting from my lawyer" tactic she deploys so frequently on Twitter doesn't work against actual professionals.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 54,989
    Mr. Ace, a questionable piece of home decorating is not comparable to a programme instituted at a workplace to train people to dislike themselves for being white, or peer pressure to try and compel kneeling in public.

    One is an individual choice in one's own home, the other is a third party trying to insist on the behaviour of other people.
  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    algarkirk said:

    Thank you. Very interesting analysis.

    For Labour to lose ordinary people in unfashionable areas is to lose your USP.

    I think this sentence nails it.

    That's exactly it. Labour has lost its USP.

    It's currently reduced to grandstanding, such as today announcing that all schools should go back on March 8th when we already 99% know that's already been decided by the Gov't.

    Labour have no existential meaning.

    There's nothing there. No USP.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 35,672
    rcs1000 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Foxy said:

    Roger said:

    As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.

    Why I wonder are the most Brexity seats mainly small miserable Northern and Eastern towns that only those without imagination and talent wouldn't have moved out of at the first possible opportunity?

    Why did all the vibrant Cities vote solidly to Remain? It seems to cut across traditional Party lines. Maybe these 'Red Wall' seats are the wrong way of dividing the country. Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK. Similarly N.Ireland who will certainly thrive as part of a united ireland.

    There is a good chance and an irony that when the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us it's going to be the Brexit voting areas that are going to be hit the hardest. The voters in those areas might even ask themselves where their country has gone!

    But the interesting question is who will they blame? Those who led them down this back alley or they themselves who voted for it? Unlikely to be themselves but I'd be very surprised if Johnson and his henchmen escape unscathed
    Voters are notoriously ungrateful, but the one thing you can be certain of is that they won't blame themselves!

    It will take some years for this country to get over its political xenophobia.
    Reducing Brexit to "political xenophobia" is precisely the kind of arrogant Metropolitan elitist sneering which caused them to win in the first place.
    Let me turn it around: policies are not, usually, particularly interesting to 90% of the population. Most people care about their family, their livelihoods, their neighbourhood, their job, and their prospects.

    Outside of us obsessives, Brexit is not desired for the sake of Brexit. It is desired because of the prospect of tangible benefits.

    Right now, with the EU having bugled vaccines worse than Bungle, things look good.

    But in the medium term, relativity to other countries doesn't win many votes. Am I better off than I was one, three and five years ago? Am I more optimistic?

    We don't know the answer to those questions yet.
    Bar those who cant accept the result, Brexit means increasingly less to people as the years go on. "Events" are taking over and bear more relevance to the future than a vote in 2016.
    Spot on.

    It's time to stop even mentioning Brexit. (Worth noting, of course, that even Starmer is reconciled to this and supported the government's legislation on this matter.)
    Agreed. Having delivered Brexit will not be a compelling reason for voting for Boris in 2024. Voters are notoriously ungrateful and in any event a UK free of the EU will be the new normal.

    Boris will need other reasons for those red wall seats to remain blue. The economic position of the government is both an asset and a liability here. On the one hand the deficit ought to make large scale programs in the north difficult. On the other Boris will argue (possibly correctly) that the economy needs a boost to get out of recession after Covid. My guess is that he will spend, spend, spend. Northern voters used to be taken for granted by Labour and ignored by the Tories may well like it.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 21,823

    Foxy said:

    MattW said:

    Roger said:


    Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK.

    4 out of 10 Scots voted to leave the EU.

    That doesn't strike me as "pretty solidly anti-Brexit".

    If it was only 20% rather than just under 40% - yes. However, it wasn't.
    About the same proportion in Stoke or Hartlepool who wanted to Remain. So to put things equally, Scotland was no more for Remain than Stoke for Leave.

    It suits political discourse to depict the Purple wall as Leaverstan and Scotland as Romania, but the reality is far more complex and interesting.

    A large part of the reason that small towns, (whether post industrial North or seaside) voted Brexit is age profile. If the voting youngsters have moved to the metropolises, then the residue are older. That is why the areas of the country with shrinking populations were most Brexity. Not so much immigrants taking jobs, as no decent jobs to be had.
    Though many Brexitty voters in Brexitty places aren't in the market for jobs themselves any more, the age profile of the Leave-Remain divide being what it is.

    The government might need to be careful about moving a lot of metropolitan elite types into Midlands and northern towns. If civil servants and their families take their London mores with them, the resulting regeneration might not be was the left behind were hoping for.
    I think that the older population of Brexity voters in Brexity places simply want good quality jobs like they had, so their children don't have to choose between poverty and moving away.

    There was an interesting piece of work a month or so back that showed opinion in backwater towns. People didn't want incomers, even if it led to economic development.

  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 54,989
    F1: quite the video on Grosjean's accident:
  • MattWMattW Posts: 5,915
    DougSeal said:
    I inclined to think that that is more linked to a wider vaccination in the whole population.
  • RogerRoger Posts: 13,960
    MattW said:

    Roger said:


    Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK.

    4 out of 10 Scots voted to leave the EU.

    That doesn't strike me as "pretty solidly anti-Brexit".

    If it was only 20% rather than just under 40% - yes. However, it wasn't.
    Has there been a 60/40 victory in the UK in the last 100 years? Or in the US for that matter.

    I'd say 60/40 fits landslide/overwhelming/pretty solid
  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    DavidL said:

    rcs1000 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Foxy said:

    Roger said:

    As a semi-native West Virginian, yours truly feels an affinity with County Durham. It may be Almost Heaven, but WVa has NOTHING that can hold a candle to Durham Cathedral and University. (On the other hand, the North of England Outback cannot match the New River Gorge, so there).

    I note that both County Durham & West Virginia are all-but-certain to lose representation in the national legislature.

    In the Mountain State, congressional districts are shrinking from three to two (there were six in the 1950s, the height of the coal boom) with the current central district almost certain to be split between existing northern & southern seats. Both of which should remain virtually-sure to elect Republicans for rest of the reeling '20s.

    In County Durham, will reduction and consequent (or otherwise) boundary changes tend to help or hurt Labour and Conservative prospects, and do any others have a chance? Generally where seats are totally or partially removed, with respect to incumbents it's usually a case of the weakest to the wall.

    Why I wonder are the most Brexity seats mainly small miserable Northern and Eastern towns that only those without imagination and talent wouldn't have moved out of at the first possible opportunity?

    Why did all the vibrant Cities vote solidly to Remain? It seems to cut across traditional Party lines. Maybe these 'Red Wall' seats are the wrong way of dividing the country. Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK. Similarly N.Ireland who will certainly thrive as part of a united ireland.

    There is a good chance and an irony that when the negative effects of Brexit finally hit us it's going to be the Brexit voting areas that are going to be hit the hardest. The voters in those areas might even ask themselves where their country has gone!

    But the interesting question is who will they blame? Those who led them down this back alley or they themselves who voted for it? Unlikely to be themselves but I'd be very surprised if Johnson and his henchmen escape unscathed
    Voters are notoriously ungrateful, but the one thing you can be certain of is that they won't blame themselves!

    It will take some years for this country to get over its political xenophobia.
    Reducing Brexit to "political xenophobia" is precisely the kind of arrogant Metropolitan elitist sneering which caused them to win in the first place.
    Let me turn it around: policies are not, usually, particularly interesting to 90% of the population. Most people care about their family, their livelihoods, their neighbourhood, their job, and their prospects.

    Outside of us obsessives, Brexit is not desired for the sake of Brexit. It is desired because of the prospect of tangible benefits.

    Right now, with the EU having bugled vaccines worse than Bungle, things look good.

    But in the medium term, relativity to other countries doesn't win many votes. Am I better off than I was one, three and five years ago? Am I more optimistic?

    We don't know the answer to those questions yet.
    Bar those who cant accept the result, Brexit means increasingly less to people as the years go on. "Events" are taking over and bear more relevance to the future than a vote in 2016.
    Spot on.

    It's time to stop even mentioning Brexit. (Worth noting, of course, that even Starmer is reconciled to this and supported the government's legislation on this matter.)
    Agreed. Having delivered Brexit will not be a compelling reason for voting for Boris in 2024. Voters are notoriously ungrateful and in any event a UK free of the EU will be the new normal.

    Boris will need other reasons for those red wall seats to remain blue. The economic position of the government is both an asset and a liability here. On the one hand the deficit ought to make large scale programs in the north difficult. On the other Boris will argue (possibly correctly) that the economy needs a boost to get out of recession after Covid. My guess is that he will spend, spend, spend. Northern voters used to be taken for granted by Labour and ignored by the Tories may well like it.
    That's a non sequitur.

    Just because it's time to stop mentioning Brexit does not mean voters will forget. They've relaxed now because remainers were kicked into touch, but only after a long game with a parliament that tried to thwart the will of the people at every turn and with every trick in the book.

    But it takes a generation for voters to regain trust after something that seismic. Look at Black Wednesday: it was a generation before the tories were trusted again on the economy.

    It will be the same on Brexit. It will be a generation before Labour are trusted again.

    And that, my friends, is why it will be a very, very, long time before you see another British Labour Prime Minister.

    Have a good day :wink:
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 15,608
    Foxy said:



    Of course Brexit has more complex roots, such as the economic decline of heavy industry and manufacturing employment on the old coalfields. That is not an easy problem to crack, so far better to whip up anti-Woke culture wars, or political xenophobia around flags and British exceptionalism. That is what the next election will be about. Not much bread and a lot of circuses.

    Yes, at present Johnson is the "circuses" champion - culture wars, boosterism, jolliness) and Starmer is the "bread" champion (seriousness, recovery bonds, aid for low-income Covid victims). Most people want a bit of both, but Labour really should be shouting about the last point more - it has all-party support as it's clearly in the national interest:

    https://www.facebook.com/NickPalmerNottingham/posts/10159148987079592
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 4,428

    And that's not the first disastrous policy mistake by Starmer. As DPP he instituted the 'believe all victims' policy which fed the Carl Beech scandal. Beech would not have got away with it had the (admittedly stupid) police officers not been instructed in the first place to believe him as "credible and true."

    This is bollocks. I’ve seen on this very board Starmer blamed for the Rochdale and Saville scandals, where victims were not believed, and Carl Beech, where they were. I’m not aware of this supposed “believe all victims policy” and would be very imterested if you could provide a link or citation.
  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    Roger said:

    MattW said:

    Roger said:


    Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK.

    4 out of 10 Scots voted to leave the EU.

    That doesn't strike me as "pretty solidly anti-Brexit".

    If it was only 20% rather than just under 40% - yes. However, it wasn't.
    Has there been a 60/40 victory in the UK in the last 100 years? Or in the US for that matter.

    I'd say 60/40 fits landslide/overwhelming/pretty solid
    Still refusing to engage with my (I thought well made) points below.

  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 64,265

    tlg86 said:

    Interesting piece, thanks Alastair. I’ve never been to Colchester, but chocolate box isn’t how I imagine it. Curious that it was a Lib Dem seat and it’s taken a few elections for Labour to become the main challenger.

    Colchester looks a bit like my seat of Woking in that the Tories look beatable, but the challenger isn’t strong enough to hoover up most of the non-Tory votes. Perhaps that will be different in such seats in 2024.

    It’s also interesting to wonder if Tories might win a few more seats in the red wall next time even if they suffer a net loss overall. Labour just held on to Normanton, Castleford and Pontefract (Yvette Cooper’s seat) last time. I think that and Chesterfield might be possible gains for the Tories.

    Doncaster North - Ed Miliband's seat - is one to watch. The issue next time will be where do the 8k+ Brexit Party votes go? Back to Labour - or were they a stepping-stone to voting Conservative? The Tory gained 5% - but Ed lost 22%. His name - and a majority of 2,370 - saved it for Labour. Will it be enough next time? Will he even stand?

    Putting real money and effort into saving seats like this - the next regional dominoes after Grimsby and Scunthorpe in the retreat of the Labour vote - demonstrates the mountain the party has next time. Places where you used to weigh the vote for the Labour candidate, whoever the candidate, now need shoring up. And I don't see Starmer being any help there in filling sandbags. Not against Boris in a JCB, chasing down those 8,294 Brexit Party voters, with his message that he delivered Brexit. The Brexit that "smarmy Starmer" tried so hard to block at every turn.

    Coventry and Wolverhampton are also places were Labour is going to have to spend a huge amount of effort, just to stand still. And this against a Government being smart in trying to prise them into the blue column by moving jobs there. Coventry's turn next.....

    "The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will have a new home in Wolverhampton, with 500 posts including senior civil servants moving to the West Midlands by 2025.

    It will be the first ever ministerial office outside of Westminster and is part of the Places for Growth programme, which aims to shift away from the London-centric approach to government."

    https://www.expressandstar.com/news/politics/2021/02/20/wolverhampton-chosen-for-new-government-department-headquarters/#:~:text=New government headquarters will be,servant roles out of London.&text=The Ministry of Housing, Communities,the West Midlands by 2025.

    Wolverhampton SE - Labour majority in 2017 8,514 --> Labour majority 1,235 in 2019

    Wolverhampton NE - Labour majority in 2017 4,587 --> Con majority 4,080 in 2019

    Wolverhampton SW - Labour majority in 2017 2,185 --> Con majority 1,661 in 2019

    Coventry NE - Labour majority in 2017 15,580 --> Labour majority 7,692 in 2019

    Coventry NW - Labour majority in 2017 8,580 --> Labour majority 208 in 2019

    Coventry S - Labour majority in 2017 7,947 --> Labour majority 401 in 2019
    If Coventry south gets any of Kenilworth it can go blue
  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 1,349
    MattW said:

    DougSeal said:
    I inclined to think that that is more linked to a wider vaccination in the whole population.
    Then you’ve missed the direct comparison in the story. Comparing to two other cohorts who have not been vaccinated those who have are showing a bigger reduction.
  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    DougSeal said:

    And that's not the first disastrous policy mistake by Starmer. As DPP he instituted the 'believe all victims' policy which fed the Carl Beech scandal. Beech would not have got away with it had the (admittedly stupid) police officers not been instructed in the first place to believe him as "credible and true."

    This is bollocks. I’ve seen on this very board Starmer blamed for the Rochdale and Saville scandals, where victims were not believed, and Carl Beech, where they were. I’m not aware of this supposed “believe all victims policy” and would be very imterested if you could provide a link or citation.
    Well then you should be as it's certainly NOT 'bollocks'. As a journalist I covered this extensively.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24513004

    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/feb/03/former-director-public-prosecutions-victims-law-keir-starmer

    https://www.lag.org.uk/article/202698/-lsquo-victims-law-rsquo--will-change-face-of-criminal-justice--says-starmer

    Starmer chaired the Labour party's victims taskforce and was instrumental in the policy shift that came into play.

    I know the Carl Beech story inside out and he is unlikely to have got away with it without the policy shift, which was a reaction of course to the Jimmy Savile scandal.

    Reactive policy decisions are rarely good ones and Keir Starmer got this badly wrong. As he did with Labour on the EU.
  • MysticroseMysticrose Posts: 4,688
    And with that I'm orrrf.

    G'day to y'all.

    xx
  • Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    MattW said:

    Roger said:


    Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK.

    4 out of 10 Scots voted to leave the EU.

    That doesn't strike me as "pretty solidly anti-Brexit".

    If it was only 20% rather than just under 40% - yes. However, it wasn't.
    About the same proportion in Stoke or Hartlepool who wanted to Remain. So to put things equally, Scotland was no more for Remain than Stoke for Leave.

    It suits political discourse to depict the Purple wall as Leaverstan and Scotland as Romania, but the reality is far more complex and interesting.

    A large part of the reason that small towns, (whether post industrial North or seaside) voted Brexit is age profile. If the voting youngsters have moved to the metropolises, then the residue are older. That is why the areas of the country with shrinking populations were most Brexity. Not so much immigrants taking jobs, as no decent jobs to be had.
    Though many Brexitty voters in Brexitty places aren't in the market for jobs themselves any more, the age profile of the Leave-Remain divide being what it is.

    The government might need to be careful about moving a lot of metropolitan elite types into Midlands and northern towns. If civil servants and their families take their London mores with them, the resulting regeneration might not be was the left behind were hoping for.
    I think that the older population of Brexity voters in Brexity places simply want good quality jobs like they had, so their children don't have to choose between poverty and moving away.

    There was an interesting piece of work a month or so back that showed opinion in backwater towns. People didn't want incomers, even if it led to economic development.

    That's a large part of the problem.

    But many of the jobs and lifestyles that The Young want don't make sense in the classic small town. They happen in Leeds and Manchester for sure, maybe in Huddersfield if you look hard enough. But not in Dewsbury, let alone Heckmondwicke.

    It's a wicked problem, and I don't think anyone has a good answer to it.
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 4,428

    Foxy said:

    MattW said:

    Roger said:


    Scotland is pretty solidly anti Brexit and is likely to leave the UK.

    4 out of 10 Scots voted to leave the EU.

    That doesn't strike me as "pretty solidly anti-Brexit".

    If it was only 20% rather than just under 40% - yes. However, it wasn't.
    About the same proportion in Stoke or Hartlepool who wanted to Remain. So to put things equally, Scotland was no more for Remain than Stoke for Leave.

    It suits political discourse to depict the Purple wall as Leaverstan and Scotland as Romania, but the reality is far more complex and interesting.

    A large part of the reason that small towns, (whether post industrial North or seaside) voted Brexit is age profile. If the voting youngsters have moved to the metropolises, then the residue are older. That is why the areas of the country with shrinking populations were most Brexity. Not so much immigrants taking jobs, as no decent jobs to be had.
    Though many Brexitty voters in Brexitty places aren't in the market for jobs themselves any more, the age profile of the Leave-Remain divide being what it is.

    The government might need to be careful about moving a lot of metropolitan elite types into Midlands and northern towns. If civil servants and their families take their London mores with them, the resulting regeneration might not be was the left behind were hoping for.
    Not often mentioned are the 5 million or so EU citizens who have obtained residency and will be obtaining UK naturalisation and thus voting rights over the next few years.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 35,672

    MattW said:

    DougSeal said:
    I inclined to think that that is more linked to a wider vaccination in the whole population.
    Then you’ve missed the direct comparison in the story. Comparing to two other cohorts who have not been vaccinated those who have are showing a bigger reduction.
    But surely this is obvious. Young people are much more active, they are out and about much more, they are more likely to have jobs which involve meeting and dealing with large numbers of the public. Of course most super spreaders are going to be young and of course immunising them will do more to reduce the R rate than vaccinating those secure in care homes (to take the other extreme).

    The point is that those in the care homes are far, far more likely to die if they get infected before the vaccination has an effect. If you want to reduce the number of cases vaccinate the young. If you want to reduce death and serious illness vaccinate the old. Simples.
  • AlistairAlistair Posts: 19,391
    Cases have just done a massive jump in Edinburgh.

    Primary 1 2 3 back tomorrow.

    Sigh.
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